Two South Australian nationally-listed heritage fossil sites will benefit from the 2019/20 round of the Australian Heritage Grants Program.
Australian Heritage Grants fund projects that improve recognition, conservation and preservation of National Heritage List values, access to National Heritage List places, and enrich heritage values through better engaging the community.
A grant of $290,000 has been provided to improve heritage appreciation and accessibility at the Victoria Fossil Cave within the Naracoorte Caves precinct; and a grant of $160,000 has been provided to protect the Ediacara Fossil Site at Nilpena.
Both projects will also receive a co-contribution from the South Australian Government.
National Parks and Wildlife Service SA Executive Director Mike Williams said the two projects will support the South Australian Government’s Heritage Tourism Strategy and election commitment towards heritage tourism.
“These grants will really benefit heritage tourism in South Australia,” Mr Williams said. “With these funds we will be able to improve security for the fossils on Nilpena Station as the fossil site transitions from a private pastoral lease to a public conservation park.
“The funds will allow us to prepare for controlled visitor access to the fossils on Nilpena Station by building an entrance gate at the main road with fencing, an automated gate, cameras and signage.
“We’ll also be able to install cameras and signage at important areas throughout the fossil site and develop information online about the fossils.
“The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) will contribute $125,000 to the project with an additional funding coming from project partners - the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation and Nilpena Station.
“In addition the grant of $290,000 for the Victoria Fossil Cave within the Naracoorte Caves complex will enable us to develop an immersive audio visual experience to complement the guided cave tour – and DEW will contribute an additional $90,000 towards this project.
“We’re planning to develop animated visual sequences and soundscapes which will bring the megafauna fossils out of the protected fossil beds and into the visitor areas through the use of cutting edge technology – this will really bring our unique Australian megafauna to life.
“It will also help us improve cave access for people with disabilities and to improve the whole experience for culturally and linguistically diverse visitors.”
Other Australian Heritage Grants of note for the state include a grant of $291,000 to South Australian Native Title Services to upgrade the existing interpretive material along the Irrwanyere and Idnjundura Kingfisher Springs trails at Dalhousie Springs in Witjira National Park.
A dusk display of digitally projected story, song, sound and illumination will showcase the oldest continuous culture on earth using the newest technology to create an immersive cultural experience for visitors.
In addition the National Trust of South Australia will receive $37,600 for replacing the roof of the Moonta Mines Museum. The building is a significant part of the story of Cornish Miners’ settlement in Australia.